this 48-core box...

Vincent Schut schut at
Thu Sep 19 14:55:06 UTC 2013

On Tue, 17 Sep 2013 12:08:43 -0500
Michael Chen <michael at> wrote:

> I'm considering bidding on this 48-core box:
> Does anyone have experience with it and can I use all the cores?
> Thanks!
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I recently bought one like that (48 cores but 'only' 96 Gb ram). It was
meant to play a double role as both zfs file server and data processing
server (we do lots of satellite image processing), running FreeBSD 9.1.
It connects with a SAN and we'll use it to process about 36TB of
satellite data in the next months. (In a couple of weeks we will
probably have budget to split those roles, and buy a dedicated file
server.) After several weeks of tweaking and testing, I can say that:
- the zfs/file server part runs without problems
- the satellite data processing had problems scaling to all 48 cores, I
  got max performance when running about 18 processes in parallel,
  scaling up more would lower the overall performance. However, this
  (sorry guys) appeared to be a FreeBSD problem, and not a hardware
  problem. As a test I switched to linux with ZoL (ZFS on Linux), and,
  though zfs performance is less compared to freebsd, data processing
  is much much better, like a factor 12 or so.

Conclusion: the hardware is alright, however when needed to do lots of
heavy calculations on terabytes of data, the combination with FreeBSD
appears not ideal.

Of course it is you get what you pay for. Decent, OK working hardware,
but none of the special handy-dandy features expensive brands will give
you. If you don't need them, in my experience it is decent hardware for
a good price.


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